Author(s): Everald Compton
Few Australians have any awareness of how their nation was established on 1 January 1901 when six self-governing British colonies joined together as one nation. It was achieved after a dozen years of superb negotiations in which Federation conventions drafted and agreed on a splendid constitution which was approved by six colonial parliaments, six referendums in which ordinary Australians had their say, negotiations in London to have the British parliament gave its approval and finally gain the agreement of a difficult Queen Victoria who wanted the six colonies to become counties of England. Above all, it was achieved without violence, unlike their counterparts in USA. Everald Compton has now written a vivid account of it all as he creates a dinner held ten years after Federation in which the founding fathers relive the great political and legal battles they fought and the huge parochial attitudes they overcame to create a nation. It is one of those books which makes you stay awake to turn the next page. More importantly, it will get you thinking about the changes that are needed to the Constitution 120 years after Federation to make it relevant to a hugely different and rapidly changing world.